Archive | History

History (and her story, too)

photo credit: Nicola since 1972 I’ve been listening to “The History of Rome,” Mike Duncan’s series of half-hour podcasts tracing… the history of Rome. That is, the Roman Empire, of course. So far, there are 115 podcasts and more coming, and I’ve listed to almost 60. Today, while hearing about the tragic fate of Augustus’s […]

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Xerxes Was Nuts

I’m reading A History of Histories (review and review). The basic idea, I gather, is that when someone writes a history, that piece of writing is itself a part of history. That piece of writing gives us an indication of what people at the time of the writing felt about history and how they fit […]

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My Kingdom for a Horse!

The battle of Bosworth ended Richard III’s rule and put the first Tudor, Henry, on the throne. Now, archeologists have conclusively located the battlefield where it happened (in 1485). They even found, right on the field, a silver badge, shaped like a boar. These badges were worn only by Richard’s most-trusted knights, so this is […]

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Sanitizing History

My most recent post reminded me of reading old books that are hostile to Jews. Though I’m Jewish, I never for a second thought that the book should be banned or sanitized the way that SOME people want to ban or sanitize the books I mentioned. (I could see a modern publisher correcting some of […]

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Conrad and the N-Word

A few years ago, I quoted from an article about a woman who wanted to ban “To Kill a Mockingbird”: “She acknowledged she hadn’t read the entire book, but strongly felt if it had the word “nigger” in it, it shouldn’t be used in schools.” Obviously, the woman didn’t read enough to know that the […]

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Letter to a Daughter

Letters of Note gathers and publishes interesting and sometimes amazing letters. Often they’re from famous people, but often they’re not. This one is from John Byrnes, not famous, fighting in New Guinea in 1942. He’s writing to his daughter, upon missing her birthday as she turned two. Have tissues handy. [You can read the handwritten […]

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Opinions Turn to Stone

A petrified object is one that’s made of stone, but looks just like the tree or animal that used to exist before being filled in. The object looks just the same, but it’s hard and heavy and unchanging. In other words, in some very important ways, it’s completely unlike the original tree or animal. I […]

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4th of July

It was a radical idea. A government formed by the people, with their consent, and with a threat attached: Do what’s right by us, or we’ll tear you down and try again. Here are a few more reasons, slightly less majestic, that the American spirit should be appreciated.

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